One of the unluckiest players to play for the England football team, James Peter Greaves was one of the team’s main strikers when an unfortunate injury ultimately led to him missing the World Cup final triumph in 1966. A prolific scorer of goals for both club and country, we take a look at the top 25 quotes on Jimmy Greaves.
Having played in all three group games, Greaves was injured in the shins and Geoff Hurst took his opportunity to lead England to a World Cup triumph at Wembley, with three goals in the final.
A superb capacity to score goals on a regular basis, he was Tottenham Hotspur’s greatest ever goalscorer, had an international record of 44 goals in only 57 games, and is the highest scorer of goals in the top flight of English football.
Starting out at Chelsea FC, he was a natural in front of goal and struck 132 times in only four seasons, including 41 in 40 league games in his final season at Stamford Bridge. After a short spurt with Italian side AC Milan, Greaves moved to White Hart Lane, where he showed his true class with 220 goals in 321 league matches.
Even though he never won the League title with Spurs, he still ended with a phenomenal career-best 266 goals for them, with two FA Cup and one European Cup Winners’ Cup triumph.
Apart from the 1966 World Cup, Greaves was also a dominant hit-man for the England national team with a record-breaking six hat-tricks, including four goals in a match twice.
After retiring from football, Greaves became a popular television personality and host.
“Jimmy Greaves was someone who was admired by all who love football, regardless of club allegiances…..Jimmy certainly deserves inclusion in any list of England’s best players, given his status as one of our greatest goal scorers.” Gareth Southgate (England manager)
“A true legend and one of the great goalscorers…..” Harry Kane
“Quite possibly the greatest striker this country has ever produced. A truly magnificent footballer who was at home both in the box and on the box. A charismatic, knowledgeable, witty and warm man. A giant of the sport.”
“…..a true football legend.”
Mauricio Pochettino (former Tottenham Hotspur manager)
“…..Jimmy, you are simply the greatest.”
Micky Hazard (former Spurs player)
“A true legend of the game…..”
“…..Don’t think Jimmy Greaves got anywhere near the praise, credit, respect his talent and goal-scoring record deserved. He was a truly awesome footballer.”
Reece Dinsdale (British actor)
“He was always a cheeky little imp…..At schoolboy level he would predict how many goals he would score, like Muhammad Ali when he forecast the knockout round…..He’s always had this carefree attitude and it was linked to his success as a goalscorer…..He is someone I have admired tremendously as a player and as a person. He was always a smashing guy to be with, just brilliantly funny.”
“Jimmy was perhaps the first football star of TV…..It’s entertainment and it’s there to be enjoyed and I think Jimmy encapsulated that perfectly…..It’s important to have light and shade and Jimmy did it perfectly.”
“We’ve got real royalty in here tonight…..”
John Lennon (Beatles star spotting Greaves in the audience at a gig)
“The first footballers name I ever heard from my teacher. “No Ian! Finish like Jimmy Greaves!”
Ian Wright (former Arsenal player)
“…..Jimmy Greaves was a genius.”
“…..Goals, Goals, Goals. A remarkable goal scorer.”
“The best goal scorer we have seen and also part of the best football show we have ever seen.”
“A true legend and one of the great goalscorers…..”
Harry Kane (Spurs captain)
“Great player, great man. Very funny. Humble…..Jimmy epitomises what Spurs is: ‘To dare is to do’…..”
Osvaldo Ardiles (Argentina and Spurs player)
“It is important Jimmy is remembered by this generation and future generations as the great player he was…..It’s our sporting heritage, it’s our national game, it’s the world game and you are talking about the greatest goalscorer we have ever seen…..He was a genius at doing one of the hardest things in the game: putting the ball in the back of the net.”
“By that stage he was already a top-class striker…..He is one of the greatest goalscorers this country has ever produced.”
Ron Harris (former Chelsea captain)
“He blew everyone away…..How many goals he scored! How many defenders he sent crazy!”
Giovanni Trapattoni (former AC Milan team-mate)
“Jimmy was an excellent player, an excellent goalscorer and he had more skill than most people gave him credit for…..He had good passing ability – but most important was his ability to get the ball in the net.”
Bill Nicholson (Tottenham manager)
“He reminds me much more of Leo Messi than he does Cristiano Ronaldo…..He was a sort of Dickensian type of character, like the Artful Dodger. He had that tight close-dribbling control.”
Terry Venables (former Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur team-mate)
“Forget Harry Kane and all these people today…..Jimmy is one of the best this country has ever produced.”
“I think what Jimmy did was connect with the average fan and that is an extraordinary gift…..It’s something that’s instinctive and natural, and Jimmy was such an instinctive and natural footballer.”
Clive Tyldesley (former football commentator)
“I understood clearly that we are speaking of a legend in a Chelsea shirt and a Tottenham shirt…..He was a huge goalscorer in this country so we have the biggest respect…..”
Thomas Tuchel (Chelsea manager)
“…..with him, he was an absolute natural…..any chance provided to him, he wasn’t a thumper of the ball, he was a placer…..There were so many times when Jimmy was well onside but because of his quickness and sharpness he was always beyond the back four and given offside…..Today he would have been untouchable as far as the goal ratio is concerned.”
Terry Paine (former England team-mate)